Authentic Goan Chicken Vindaloo -Traditional Recipe of the famous indian curry, Goan Chicken Vindaloo cooked with Chillies, Tamarind, Vinegar & Jaggery.
I have included both Instant Pot & Stove top methods.If you like spicy indian curries, then this recipe is the place to start!
Vindaloo is very different from other indian curries like Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken.This curry comes from Goa, which is in the western part of india.Everything about this curry screams loud.If you cant stand your spices, a butter chicken would work better for you.
It's main flavour comes from using dry red chillies and vinegar.You can use the chillies that find around you.Every region has a chilli that looks red and spicy but is actually mild,.A kind of chilli that gives more colour than heat.Thats the chilli you need to use here.
Traditionally the chilli and vinegar used are native to goa but thats difficult to find outside of goa.
Though this recipe has a lot of components for a beginner, once you have everything on the counter, it is an easy dish to make.
So how do you eat this curry? It is usually served with steaming hot white Rice but I love scooping it up with fresh buttery garlic naan too!If you are creating a menu, make sure to balance it with some not to spicy dishes like potatoes and Raita.
Another goan curry that compliments the goan vindaloo is Prawn Gassi. This recipe is from Mangalore, thats just a little south of goa and have very similar cuisine.
What is Traditional Vindaloo
There are lots of stories surrounding Vindaloo curry.This curry is has emerged from melting pot of poturgese,Goan and British influences. In fact,the name "Vindaloo" is actually a garbled version of the Portuguese dish called carne de vinha d'alhos which translates to "meat in garlic wine marinade".
In around 1800's,this dish was Indianised by using palm vinegar instead of wine and was traditionally made with pork or beef.The further evolution of this dish happened when British ruled India- in that version the meat was marinated overnight with vinegar, ginger,garlic and spices and then cooked the next day.
When made right, a traditional vindaloo curry should be red-maroonish in color,slightly sweet,have layers of heat from- red dry chillies, green chillies and black pepper and the most important have two distinct sour notes coming from the vinegar and the tamarind.
Authentic Goan Chicken Vindaloo
Ingredients to Make Chicken Vindaloo
You can find thw whole list in the recipe card below.Here are some additional notes on the ingredients used in making this curry
Chicken - For most indian curries, chicken on the bone, cut into 2-3 inch pieces works very well. You can choose between chicken with or without skin.
You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe.if you use whole thighs, the cooking time will be similar as in the recipe down below.If you are using smaller cuts of chicken, makes sure to reduce the cooking time by 4-5 minutes to avoid over cooking.
Though curries usually are very forgiving to over cooking, so you should be fine.
Spices- This recipe calls for making your own spice blend by roasting the dry spices. Though if i am in a hurry, I use already ground spices instead of whole spices.
Tamarind & Vinegar- Tamarind is a fruit thats used very widely in india.If you cant find it, you can omit it and substitute it with 1 more tablespoon of vinegar.
You can use red wine vinegar or white vinegar or coconut vinegar.Do not use Balsamic vinegar for sure.In a pinch, apple cider vinegar would also work.
Chillies- We have used both red and green chillies here.Both have different parts to play , different layers of flavour.
If you are in india, use badgi or kashmiri chillies.The spice levels in this dish can be adjusted by omitting the green chillies, pepper and using a mild red chilli such as paprika.
Tomato Puree- Tomato puree has more concentrated tomato flavour than fresh tomatoes.This one ingredient also makes for a better colour of the curry.
Instead of puree, you can use 1 tablespoon of tomato paste too.
How to make Goan Chicken Vindaloo
Prepare the marinade
Heat the 1 teaspoon oil in a pan.Add the roughly chopped ginger and garlic. Saute till they start softening and browning just a little.
To that add the spices- black pepper, mustard seeds,cumin,coriander seeds,fenugreek seeds,cloves,cinnamon stick and Kashmiri Chillies.Roast all of this on low flame for 5-10 minutes.
Let it all cool a bit. Transfer to a blender along with vinegar, salt,turmeric and jaggery.
Add soaked Tamarind along with the water and blend again into a smooth paste.If you are impatient like me and cant wait for the hot mixutre to cool, use ice cubes while blending!
Marinate the chicken with this paste for at-least 15 minutes.I usually like to leave it overnight in the fridge.This tenderises the chicken and lets the spices soak through it.
Make the Vindaloo Base
Next, we make the curry.
Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.Add the green chillies and onions. Feel free to omit the chillies if you cant take the heat.A great way to get the flavour of the chilli but not the heat is to make a few holes in the chilli and sauteing it in the oil. This way you can control the spice level of this curry to suite your pallate.
Cook the onions till they are browning slightly
Add the Chopped tomatoes, cook till they soften.Add the tomato puree and cook the gravy for another 2-3 minutes.
Thats your curry base.It should look pasty and oily. If all the ingredients still look separate, then you need to cook the curry base for a little more time.
This is the step that needs most patience because its also the most flavour enhancing step.
Add the protein
Place the chicken along with all the marinade in next.Mix and Roast for 10 minutes(if the masala is burning, add a splash of water)
Add 1 cup of water and cook on medium flame, covered for 25-30 minutes till the chicken is falling off the bone.
Cooking Chicken Vindaloo in Instant Pot
You can potentially shave off 15 minutes making the vindaloo in an instant pot.
Carry on with the first three steps using the SAUTE function and then follow up with pressure cooking in the last step.
What to serve Chicken Vindaloo with
Variations of Vindaloo
Originally the vindaloo is made with pork but chicken and mutton work well too.
To get the right texture and avoid labouring on the stove for too long- pressure cook the mutton before adding to this gravy.
A vegetarian version of Vindaloo will be a curry made with par boiled potatoes or brinjal or even paneer.While making a vegetarian version of this dish-do keep in mind the cooking times.A great meat subsitute here would also be raw jackfruit.It is easily available in fresh,canned and frozen forms.
Almost all vegetables only need to be cooked for less than a couple minutes unlike a protein like chicken.
Here are some other indian Chicken Curries
Prawn Gassi- A west coast speciality
- 500 gms Chicken on the bone-Curry Cut(Note 1)
- 2 Large Onions- Chopped about 2 cups
- 1 Large Tomato-Chopped about 1 cup
- ¼ Cup Tomato Puree optional
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 2 Green Chillies-Chopped
- 1 tablespoon Tamarind washed and soaked in ¼ cup hot water.
- Coriander to garnish
- Salt as per taste
- 1 teaspoon Oil
- 8 Garlic Cloves
- ½ inch Ginger
- 5 Kashmiri Chillies or Bydagi Chillies or Paprika
- ½ tablespoon Black Pepper
- ½ tablespoon Mustard Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
- 3 Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 4 tablespoon Vinegar white or red wine vinegar or Coconut vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Jaggery or Brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon Salt
Making the Vindaloo Masala Paste
- Heat the 1 teaspoon oil in a pan.Add the ginger and garlic. Saute till they start softening and browning just a little.
- To that add the black pepper, mustard seeds,cumin,coriander seeds,fenugreek seeds,cloves,cinnamon stick and Kashmiri Chillies and roast on low flame.
- In about 5 minutes, the coriander seeds will start to brown and the masalas will start to roast and smell.
- Turn off the heat.Let the masalas cool.
- Once cool, transfer to a blender along with vinegar, salt,turmeric and jaggery.Blend to a dry masalas.Add soaked Tamarind along with the water and blend again into a smooth paste.
- Marinade the chicken with this paste for at-least 15 minutes to 24 hours.Best to do this for 12 hours.
Stove Top Cooking
- Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.Add the green chillies and onions.
- Cook till they are golden brown.
- Add the Chopped tomatoes, cook till they soften.Add the tomato puree and cook the gravy for another 2-3 minutes.
- Place the chicken along with all the marinade in next.Mix and Roast for 10 minutes(if the masala is burning, add a splash of water)
- Add 1 cup of water and cook on medium flame, covered for 25-30 minutes till the chicken is falling off the bone.
Instant Pot Cooking
- In the instant pot, select SAUTE mode.Once hot, Add oil.
- To this add the onions and cook till it turns golden- about 12-13 minutes.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are puply- around 4 minutes.
- Add the Chicken and all the marinade plus ¾ cup of water.Cancel SAUTE.
- Select Pressure Cook/Manual setting at HIGH pressure and pressure cook for 15 minutes.Let the pressure release naturally.
- If the gravy is too watery for your taste, reduce it using the saute function.
About Indian Spices and Herbs
Indian food relies heavily on spices. While Spices are an important part of the recipe, you can skip them if you are new to Indian cuisine or just do not have them at hand.
Coriander powder, Turmeric Powder ,Cumin and Chili Powder are 4 pillars of Indian cooking. Usually, store bought Curry Powder is a pre of these 4 spice powders. You can make Simple recipes like – Dal, Basic Chicken Curry, khichadi, with just curry powder.
Garam Masala & other Spice Mixes
Garam Masala is usually a mix of other spices like black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, Cumin etc. You could buy a ready made garam masala and use instead of making a mix for every recipe.
In addition to the 3 pillars and Garam Masala, we also use whole spices in elaborate Indian recipes like Chicken Korma,Laal Maas and Chicken Biryani.These add an unmistakable aroma and flavor to these dishes.They are easily available online or on big retail stores. Buy small quanities of these and keep refrigerated if not using often.
Main Indian herb which is used across almost all recipes is coriander or cilantro. It is used as a garnish on almost all Indian recipes. It adds a much-needed freshness to otherwise spice heavy stewed food. The other Herb that is used while cooking is Curry Leaves.